18:46 PM

The 4 Stages of Osteoarthritis

HealthCentral discusses what others should know about osteoarthrits (OA) and occurrences in the joints as it progresses according to HSS rheumatologist Dee Dee Wu, MD and others.

While there isn’t a universal cause of OA, there are certain things that increase a person’s risk, explained Dr. Wu. “Age is the strongest predictor,” she said. “Simply put, the chance of developing OA goes up as you get older.”

Other factors that increase the risk for OA: trauma to a joint, genetics, and gender. OA tends to run in families, though experts don’t know of a specific gene that’s responsible, noted Dr. Wu. And women are more likely than men to both develop OA and end up with more severe cases, she added.

OA symptoms may not always correlate with what you see on an x-ray. Because of this, a physician will recommend treatment based on more than just your x-ray and stage. “Clinical history is more important than x-ray, because a lot of people have damage on an x-ray but are asymptomatic,” cited Dr. Wu. The goal of OA treatment is to allow you to function normally without pain, so the way you feel and how much OA is impacting your daily life is more important than what the x-ray shows.

Read the full article at Healthcentral.com.